U.S. Department of Energy to fund Lake Erie offshore wind farms

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Photo: Phil Hollman.

Lake Erie is among seven locations nationwide to receive new offshore wind investments from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The department recently announced $168 million for different projects to demonstrate technological development, reduce costs of wind energy, and ultimately add jobs.

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., a public-private partnership, could receive up to $47 million to install nine 3-megawatt wind turbines seven miles off the coast of Cleveland, Ohio.

The goal is to achieve commercial operation by 2017.

An offshore wind industry could mirror the success of land-based wind energy, according to a report by economic services group Navigant Consortium that was commissioned for the department.

“Last year, land-based wind power represented 32 percent of all new electric capacity additions in the U.S.,” according to the department’s press release. And “nearly 70 percent of the equipment installed at those U.S. wind farms — including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears and generators — is now from domestic manufacturers.”

The report also recommended that appropriate policies guide offshore wind development.

“Significant technological advances are already unfolding within the offshore wind industry, but clearly additional policies could help to direct needed improvements to further reduce offshore wind costs and to stimulate needed infrastructure development,” it said.


5 thoughts on “U.S. Department of Energy to fund Lake Erie offshore wind farms

  1. In general I am a supporter of utilizing wind and solar, but am against putting them in the lakes. I think it’s wrong to allow these companies to monopolize a portion of the lake for their sole use and profit. The lakes are a shared resource that we as citizens, taxpayers, and/or sportsmen have spent a great deal of time and resources to maintain, preserve, and protect.
    Even if it were allowed, is LEEDCo going to set aside money for maintenance and cleanup or have they only secured funding to install their experiment? When those laminated wood turbine blades are damaged by high winds or lightning are they going to go collect all their garbage from the lake, or just leave it for the rest of us to deal with? Have they set aside money and developed mitigation plans for removal after the turbines have reached the end of their 20-30 year lifespan? Or are they just planning on leaving their waste in our lake? Are they intending to offload the removal on taxpayers, sportsmen, and conservationists, like was done with so many other locations along the lakes?
    It seems a shame that they want to stick these in our lake while there are so many abandoned/unused industrial properties along Ohio’s north shore. It also is a shame that they seem to want to bypass potential opportunities to partner with power companies like First Energy, who are shutting down 4 lakeside powerplants (more or less). They could find a way to utilize these properties and tie into the existing transmission networks at the locations, and possibly reuse some of the substation equipment. Instead they want to jam their turbines in the lake rather than onshore for no good reason, other than them not having to buy real estate.
    Ultimately we should be pushing for wise use of our land and water resources, not just sticking these facilities into the lake just so these groups and companies can avoid having to purchase real estate for their electric generation facilities and reap greater profits no matter who they victimize.

  2. we use the lakes for so many things already and they are stressed. wind farms do not need to be on water. so many other things require water. infrastructure for offshore wind on the lakes will likely further imperil already stressed lake ecosystems. servicing a malfunctioning turbine is a LOT more difficult on water than on land. think about serious problems in the middle of winter…..a turbine sliding off it’s base or the like. why not keep wind farms on land. our surface fresh water is too precious and in demand to further imperil it. the great lakes are among the most special natural resources on earth. their gorgeousness is already diminished. why damage them further when wind farms should be on land anyway. and poor lake erie, so ravaged by 20thC industry.

  3. The government has to borrow 40 cents of every dollar – mostly from China. Why? Because they spend so much on stupid, agenda-driven, money-transfers to people and corporations that fund the political campaigns of the politicians. Wind power is probably a good idea. Eventually, some business will figure out how to make it pay and the owners of the business will get rich. In the meantime, get the government out of the energy business. We can’t afford it, the government can’t afford it. And they have a proven track record of screwing up every activity in which they muddle.

  4. Paying too much for wind (possible offshore wind farm Massachusetts, only 130 turbines)

    Energy policy in Massachusetts took a turn toward the absurd last month after the announcement that the state planned to saddle MetroWest ratepayers – and those across the commonwealth – with $4 billion in above market costs for a single project that provides just one percent (it is more like 1/4 of one percent but what the hay) of New England’s electricity.

    Yes, that’s the infamous Cape Wind, the outrageously expensive wind power plant
    (continued in link)

  5. I can’t help but to feel sad that the tremendous vistas in our Great Lakes will soon be destroyed by massive wind towers. Places, such as parts of Lake Superior, where human presence is virtually undetectable, enabling a wilderness experience to the visitor. The human experience continues to be degraded by industrial intrusions, regardless of the well-meaning intentions or benefits. Year after year, this wondrous planet is being despoiled bit by bit, to the point where few will know the difference…and even fewer will care.

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